Frequently Asked Questions
Explore our FAQ for answers to common questions we get about our retreats, accommodations, travel, and more.
I’ve never trekked before. Is that a problem?
You don’t have to be an elite endurance athlete to enjoy a day’s exercise abroad. Many of our Active itineraries are built for the first-time active traveller and offer a more relaxed – but still active – experience. You don’t have to be a high-endurance athlete, just someone who’s in good, healthy shape. And if you’re unsure whether a trek is right for you, simply ask us and we’ll get you sorted out.
Who’s leading the way?
Our guides, sherpas and porters have all hiked their respective hills for years, and they’re well-versed in all the tricks you need to master them. They’ll help you with your pack, keep you motivated, and coax you through the rougher spots with care and compassion.
What else will we do other than hike on our Experiences?
Few experiences open up the heart, lungs, and mind quite like hiking in a new place. When you go with us, you won’t just climb the mountain; you’ll meet the people who live on and around it and come away with a greater sense of alpine life. On several of our treks, we've allowed free days for you to experience the best of the culture of the country you are visiting. There's more to most places than just the hiking!
Who carries the gear?
On the majority of our trips, our expert staff carries all the supplies and equipment (including food for hearty, delicious meals). All you have to do is carry your own stuff, stay hydrated, and focus on is putting one foot in front of the other. On some of the tougher hikes, you will need to carry all your gear for some periods. But the views and surroundings will be worth it.
Where will we sleep?
It depends! Some treks involve full-service camping experiences where all the equipment is provided, including sleeping mats (all you need to bring is your sleeping bag and pillow). Tents are always of high quality and vary according to the specific environmental conditions of your chosen trek. Other treks involve mountain huts with single beds.
Will I have to share my accommodation?
Unless you book the “My Own Room/Tent” option, yes, you’ll be bunking with someone else. Space on the mountains and trails is at a premium, so be prepared to share your lodgings with trekkers who aren’t travelling with your group and possibly members of the opposite sex. Mountain accommodations usually feature shared toilets and washing facilities.
What will we eat?
To get you going every day, you’ll need lots of energy, and our cooks make sure there’s plenty of healthy, quality food at hand. Our team of porters carries all the supplies where necessary, including fresh produce. Meals consist of local and international cuisine, and while special requests can almost always be accommodated, it is wise to inform us in advance.
Will the altitude affect us?
In the higher altitudes, the air is thinner than you would normally find in the atmosphere at sea level, where most of us live. Although everyone will experience the altitude differently and to varying degrees, slow and steady is always the order of the day. The more time you give yourself to acclimatize to high-altitude environments, the easier your climb will be.
Is tipping included and if not, how much should I budget?
Tips are not included in the tour price and tipping is entirely at your discretion. Our Trip Details documentation includes suggested tipping amounts and these can be downloaded from each individual trip summary page.
Can I book extra nights of hotel accommodation before or after my tour?
Yes, in most cases we can arrange additional accommodation at our starting or ending hotels, excluding European tours. Please contact us for price information. If we are unable to provide you with the extra nights we will give you the name of a hotel you can contact directly. Please also note that extra accommodations must be booked outside of 30 days of departure.
How are you able to offer such competitive prices?
Our unique style of off the beaten track, face-to-face travel is the only way to really experience a destination, but it also serves to keep the costs down. We spend your money providing an authentic experience, instead of on lavish hotels and expensive western-style meals. We pass these savings on to you with our low prices. Another thing you'll notice are the inclusions. While we don't include everything, we do throw in the major highlights of a destination, the things that everyone goes to see. On every trip page we show you the 'Included Highlights' of your trip, things that many other companies charge locally for. We leave many other activities as options, to provide you the freedom and flexibility to choose what you want to do on a daily basis.
Who are my travelling companions?
For privacy reasons we cannot provide you with advance details on your traveling companions. However, our tours appeal to a wide range of travellers, most of whom share an adventurous spirit and a desire to experience these destinations at a grass-roots level. Our tours are conducted in English and so they attract many travellers from North America, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?
We strongly recommend bringing a backpack or duffel bag, as suitcases can be cumbersome and difficult to store in buses, under seats, etc.. Keep in mind that you will normally have to carry your own luggage on and off buses and trains and up and down hotel staircases. Suitcases with wheels may not work well on dirt or cobblestone roads.
What type of ground transportation is used on your tours?
Trip specific information on transportation can be found on the trip summary page however we tend to use a mix of private and public transportation. We've found that how you get there significantly influences the tone of your journey and public transportation allows face-to-face interaction with the local people.
Are airport transfers included?
Most of our adventures do not include airport transfers and so we recommend you arrange a taxi on arrival (this is the most economical and efficient way of getting you to your hotel). If you would prefer a pre-arranged transfer these are usually available at an additional cost - please contact us for more information. Some of our adventures include an arrival transfer — departure transfers can be locally arranged at additional cost from the finishing point hotel.
Can I join a tour late or leave it early?
It's extremely difficult if not impossible to join a tour after it has begun. It is possible to leave a tour early however you will be responsible for your own arrangements from the moment you decide to leave the tour. You would also be responsible for all costs associated with joining a tour late or leaving one early. If you feel this may be necessary please consult us before you book your adventure.
I'm a single traveller, will I be charged a single supplement?
Most of our trips do not have a single supplement. This means that the accommodation is on a twin share basis and, if you are travelling on your own, you will be sharing a room with another traveller of the same sex. Some tours have an optional single supplement or rarely a mandatory single supplement. An optional service that may be available is called "My Own Room". This service allows solo travellers to request their own private room while on tour. The cost and the details vary by trip, so please refer to each trip summary page for details.
What are the age restrictions on your tours?
To travel independently you must be at least 18 years of age. There are no upper age limits for most of our tours. Also, travellers with pre-existing medical conditions are required to complete a medical questionnaire. Our standard adventures are open to children aged 12 years or older when accompanied by a parent (max. two children per adult).
Do tours include international airfare?
Travellers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. We would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.
Can you help arrange my travel visas?
Requirements for travel visas vary widely depending on your nationality and your destination. Although we are unable to arrange visas on your behalf we will help you determine if visas are required.
What clothing should I pack for one of your adventures?
We always recommend packing as light as possible however the specific requirements for your tour will vary widely depending on where and when you are traveling. You’ll receive a suggested packing list for each individual with a checklist based upon the experience of our ground staff.
How many people can join a tour?
We keep our group sizes low so you have the freedom to move around and get involved with your surroundings, as well as more personal attention from our local guides. This intimate size ensures that your group will not crowd your experience. You can expect up to 14 travellers on a trip but the average is 10. Check individual trip pages for maximum group sizes.
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